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Knee Pain

Pes Anserine Bursitis FAQs

Minute Read


Posted 11 months ago


Last updated: 29/11/2022


by James McCormack

Pes Anserine is a painful condition of the knee. The Pes Anserine is the attachment of three tendons to the shin bone at the front and inside of the knee. The anatomical point has its name because the three tendons look like a goose’s foot, which in Latin is pes anserine. Inflammation of the protective bursa under the tendons is painful and will make the area swollen and feel hot, this is termed bursitis.

What aggravates Pes Anserine Bursitis?

  • Compression of the bursa comes from excessive tension of the sartorius, gracilis, and semitendinosus muscles. Therefore, if these muscles are tight or held in stretched positions, you will aggravate this injury
  • Excessive inward movement of the knee, known as genu valgus, will apply a stretch and compression over the bursa.
  • High-impact sports such as running, especially when combined with poor knee and hip control.
  • Deep squatting
  • Repeated knee flexion, such as with cycling

How do you get Pes Anserine Bursitis?

Pes anserine bursitis is caused by compression to the bursa that sits under the pes anserine. Most commonly, this is related to poor knee control and excessive knee inward movement when walking, running or jumping. Occasionally, it may be caused by direct trauma.

What can be mistaken for Bursitis?

There are several other causes of medial knee pain. A medial collateral ligament sprain is a common misdiagnosis, as both can be caused by excessive inward movement of the knee. The medial collateral ligament, also known as the MCL, has two portions deep and superficial. The superficial portion attaches close to the pes anserine. 

How do you treat Pes Anserine Bursitis?

Pes anserine bursitis is an inflammatory condition. Therefore treatment in the acute phase requires rest from aggravating activities and reducing inflammation. Therapies such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, ice, and rest are effective.

Once past the initial phase, treatment can focus on the causes of the injury:

  • Analysis of biomechanics
  • Improving strength and control of the knee
  • Increasing flexibility of the leg muscles
  • Addressing footwear

Should I wear a knee brace with Pes Anserine Bursitis?

A knee brace can offer support on the inside of the knee if there is poor control and consequentially excessive inward movement of the knee. When selecting a brace, it is essential to find one that fits well and does not add extra pressure over the pes anserine bursa.

You can read about what we recommend is the best brace for pes anserine bursitis here.

Is walking good for Knee Bursitis?

It depends on the case; for some people walking can be an aggravating factor for pes anserine bursitis; for others, it is not. Listen to your body; if you feel discomfort, you are likely to aggravate the injury, and it is best to reduce that activity. Walking on level, even ground and wearing supportive footwear can be helpful. Both can reduce the knee’s inward movement, pressure and compression on the pes anserine bursa.

Physiotherapy with James McCormack

This is not medical advice. We recommend a consultation with a medical professional such as James McCormack. He offers Online Physiotherapy Appointments for £45.

Related Article: Pes Anserine: Anatomy, Symptoms and Diagnosis

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